Huntington Beach volleyball grinds out a sweep of Edison

HUNTINGTON BEACH – The Huntington Beach boys volleyball team closed out the first round of play in the Sunset League with a 25-23, 25-22, 25-15 victory over visiting Edison on Friday.

The victory gives the Oilers (19-4, 4-1) sole possession of second place in league, behind first-place Newport Harbor (22-0, 5-0), with five league matches remaining. The Oilers open the second round of league play against the Sailors at Newport Harbor on Tuesday.

Edison (8-11, 3-2) will play host to Marina on Tuesday.

“To get through that first half 4-1 is a good start,” Oilers coach Craig Pazanti said.

Mitchel Bollinger and Hunter Dickey led the Oilers with 15 kills and seven kills, respectively.

Ryan Bevington had four kills but made his biggest contribution at the net with nine blocks. The Oilers’ Aiden Knipe was also a factor at the net, finishing with five blocks.

“It was one of our better blocking nights, Pazanti said. “Whether we are up or down, we just keep playing hard.”

Grant Guinasso finished with nine digs to lead the back row for the Oilers.

James Carpenter led Edison with 11 kills.

In the first set, the score was tied 11 times and the lead changed hands six times before the Oilers scored the final two points to break a 23-23 tie.

“The first set we came out a little slow,” Pazanti said. “I was glad that we kind of hung on there. We didn’t serve or pass very well.”

The second set was similar to the first, with score tied seven times. Edison led 19-18 when Huntington Beach closed out the set on 7-3 run.

The Oilers were dominant in the third set and never trailed after taking a 2-1 lead.

“When you play all these good teams, it’s whoever shows up and plays the hardest who is going to win,” Edison coach Matt Skolnik said. “Tonight, that was Huntington. They deserve to win. Now we just get back to the drawing board and show up to play on Monday.”

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Huntington Beach keeps win streak going, rolls over Edison at Angel Stadium

  • Edison’s Conner Aoki, left, motions that his is safe as he looks to the umpire in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. Aoki was tagged out by Huntington Beach’s Nick Lopez in the Sunset League game at Angels Stadium. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Edison’s Conner Aoki, left, motions that his is safe as he looks to the umpire in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. Aoki was tagged out by Huntington Beach’s Nick Lopez in the Sunset League game at Angels Stadium. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison players warm up in the Angels Stadium outfield before the start of their Sunset League game against Huntington Beach in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Edison players warm up in the Angels Stadium outfield before the start of their Sunset League game against Huntington Beach in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Huntington Beach’s Jag Burden runs out onto the field as he is introduced before the start of the Sunset League game against Edison at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Huntington Beach’s Jag Burden runs out onto the field as he is introduced before the start of the Sunset League game against Edison at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Conner Aoki, right, is tagged out at the plate by Huntington Beach catcher Nick Lopez in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. The two teams played the Sunset League game at Angels Stadium(Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Edison’s Conner Aoki, right, is tagged out at the plate by Huntington Beach catcher Nick Lopez in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. The two teams played the Sunset League game at Angels Stadium(Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Cisco Haley, center, shakes hands with his teammates after being introduced before the start of the Sunset League game against Hungtington Beach at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Edison’s Cisco Haley, center, shakes hands with his teammates after being introduced before the start of the Sunset League game against Hungtington Beach at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Edison and Huntington Beach high school teams line up as the National Anthem is sung before the start of their game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    The Edison and Huntington Beach high school teams line up as the National Anthem is sung before the start of their game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison players get pumped up before the start of their game against Huntington Beach in a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Edison players get pumped up before the start of their game against Huntington Beach in a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Huntington Beach starting pitcher Nate Madole delivers a pitch in the first inning against Edison in a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Huntington Beach starting pitcher Nate Madole delivers a pitch in the first inning against Edison in a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Huntington Beach third baseman Joe Host, left, applies the tag on Edison’s Derek Cleland in a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Huntington Beach third baseman Joe Host, left, applies the tag on Edison’s Derek Cleland in a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Huntington Beach’s Luke Glascoe, left, tags out Edison’s Conner Aoki as he tries to steal second base during a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Huntington Beach’s Luke Glascoe, left, tags out Edison’s Conner Aoki as he tries to steal second base during a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Cole Montgomery makes a diving catch of a sinking line drive against Huntington Beach at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Edison’s Cole Montgomery makes a diving catch of a sinking line drive against Huntington Beach at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison starting pitcher Lucas Hansen delivers a pitch against Huntington Beach in the first inning in Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Edison starting pitcher Lucas Hansen delivers a pitch against Huntington Beach in the first inning in Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Huntington Beach first baseman Josh Hahn underhands the ball to Huntington Beach pitcher Nate Madole to get the Edison runner at first during the Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Huntington Beach first baseman Josh Hahn underhands the ball to Huntington Beach pitcher Nate Madole to get the Edison runner at first during the Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Huntington Beach players cheer their team on during their Sunset League game against Edison at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Huntington Beach players cheer their team on during their Sunset League game against Edison at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Caden Aoki, left, forces Huntington Beach’s Dylan Ramirez, right, at second and turns the double play during a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Edison’s Caden Aoki, left, forces Huntington Beach’s Dylan Ramirez, right, at second and turns the double play during a Sunset League game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

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ANAHEIM – The Huntintgton Beach baseball team no longer has Hagen Danner, last season’s Orange County player of the year. The Oilers don’t have Nick Pratto, an MLB first-round draft pick last summer.

The Oilers still have the will to win. They got their 13th straight win Thursday with a 6-0 victory over Edison in a Sunset League game at Angel Stadium.

Huntington Beach is 13-2 overall and is 5-0 in the Sunset League. And the Oilers are hungry for respect.

“We can’t replace Danner and Pratto,” said senior pitcher Nate Madole who started Thursday and got his first win of 2018. “So we’re focused on the collective team effort. It’s special what’s going on here.”

The Oilers, who last year finished 28-5 overall, won the Sunset League title with a 13-2 league record and advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals, opened this season by getting swept in a doubleheader by Bellarmine Prep of San Jose.

No shame there – Bellarmine is No. 12 in the California top 20 compiled by CalHiSports.com. But it was a tough way to start the season for Huntington Beach, one of Southern California’s better programs for the past several years.

Then came a 1-0 win over Orange Lutheran, the No. 1 team in the Register’s preseason rankings and a team that was in all sorts of national preseason rankings, too.

The winning hasn’t stopped. The Oilers swept JSerra in a doubleheader and has scored 43 runs in its four Sunset League wins. The Oilers moved up to No. 1 in this week’s Orange County top 25.

“Smoke and mirrors, man, honestly,” is how Huntington Beach coach Benji Medure explained it. “We’ve played well when we needed to.”

The Oilers played well against Edison, which before the season looked like a playoff contender but has struggled to a 6-10 overall record and an 0-5 mark in league.

Dylan Ramirez drove in three runs, including a two-run triple in the first inning. UCLA-signee Josh Hahn scored two runs. Huntington Beach got at least one hit in every inning and played error-free defense.

Madole, a left-hander who signed with Loyola Marymount, pitched 4 2/3 shutout innings. Zeke Ziegler, another senior lefty, shut down the Chargers over the final 1 1/3 innings.

Anyone who thought this might be a down year for Huntington Beach perhaps thought wrong.

“This team has a chip on it shoulder because people didn’t think we’d be good,” Medure said. “They have some fight in them.”

Angel Stadium is the site of 14 scheduled high school games this season. Teams pay a $10,500 fee and are given Angels game ticket vouchers to sell to cover that fee.

It was a thrill-of-a-lifetime for Madole to pitch on the Angel Stadium mound.

“That was awesome,” Madole said. “So cool.”

The hot Huntington Beach team next plays in the Boras Classic, which begins Tuesday. The Oilers, ranked No. 2 in CIF-Southern Section Division 1 and No. 7 in the state, play state No. 18 South Hills of Covina on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at JSerra.

No Danner, no Pratto but no problem so far for Huntington Beach’s baseball team.

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